We all know that Sarah Jessica Parker’s upcoming Sex and the City movie is likely to yield amazing results in the box office, but is one of Parker’s endorsed products, Garnier Nutritioniste Skin Renew Daily Regenerating Serum ($12.63, Amazon.com) likely to do the same for your skin? With lycopene, magnesium, and vitamin C, the company claims its innovation is in its use of unique time-released “dermatological-nutrients.”
Is lycopene a superior anti-aging ingredient?
Based on current research, no. Lycopene, the caroten that gives tomatoes its red pigment, has been reported by Dr. G. Todorov to be the best antioxidant among carotens, with at least twice the free-radical scavenging ability as ß-carotene. Lycopene also serves as a natural sunscreen, providing a UVB of about 3, and it is speculated that lycopene could improve cell-to-cell junctions, theoretically improving skin’s texture. Unfortunately, lycopene’s benefits seem to end there. A 2002 study by Offord et. al. found that lycopene’s ability to suppress expression of matrix metalloproteinase-1 (collagen-digesting) mRNA was markedly lower than that of vitamin C or vitamin E. In fact, the study found that lycopene was only able to suppress matrix metalloproteinase mRNA expression when accompanied by vitamin E, as it is found in the Garnier Nutritioniste product. However, the use of lycopene at all is questionable, as a 2005 study by Yeh et. al demonstrated that topical application of lycopene “enhances UVA-induced oxidative stress in [mouse] fibroblast (skin) cells, and…under UVA irradiation, lycopene may produce oxidative products that are responsible for the prooxidant effects.” Although this study was done on the mouse, based on these results and similar from Offord et. al., it does not seem advisable to use lycopene at this time.
Are the company’s claims about magnesium valid?
Yes. According to the Garnier Nutritioniste website, magnesium “energizes and hydrates surface-cells for a deeper radiance.” This claim is valid, as a 2005 study by Proksch et. al. (amongst others) found that magnesium salts increase the rate of barrier function and hydrate the skin.
What is the ascorbyl glucoside? [updated November 28, 2007]
The product’s vitamin C form, ascorbyl glucoside, seems to be where the nutrition fits in, as according to The Annual Review on Nutrition, “a stable ascorbyl glucoside may have nutritional applications.” More will be added on ascorbyl glucoside after more information is made available.
Based on the scientific literature available, I personally would not use this product. Although glycerin and dimethicone are hydrating and magnesium is beneficial, the lycopene’s potential to stimulate damaging oxidative by-products concerns me. However, as I have said before, I am still a student, so if anyone can provide refuting information on lycopene or ascorbyl glucoside, I would be glad to hear it, and will promptly revise the article. At this time, however, based on the scientific literature I have found, I personally would not use this product. Overall rating: 2/10.
Aqua (Water), Dimethicone, Propylene Glycol, Glycerin, Isohexadecane, Dimethicone/Vinyl Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Ammonium Polyacryloyldimethyl Taurate, Solanum Lycopersicum (Tomato) Extract, Ascorbyl Glucoside, Magnesium PCA, Actinidia Chinensis (Kiwi Fruit Water), Capryloyl Salicylic Acid, Manganese PCA, Zinc PCA, Sodium PCA, Tocopheryl Acetate, Octyldodecanol, Hexylene Glycol, Carbomer, Ceteth 10, CI 77891 (Titanium Dioxide), Disodium EDTA, Laureth 4, Mica, Nylon 12, Dimethyl Isosorbide, Polycaprolactone, Polysorbate 80, Sodium Citrate, Sodium Hydroxide, Methylparaben, Phenoxyethanol, Imidazolidinyl Urea, Chlorphenesin, Parfume (Fragrance), Linalool, Limonene, Geraniol, Benzyl Salicylate, FIL